The Guilt/Worry Continuum
Let me explain where I got this.
I studied the mysticism of the Bible with some of the best metaphysicians of our age. One of the symbols that they spent a considerable amount of time on was the three crosses at Calvary. Picture it for yourself, or just look at the artist’s rendering above.
The mythos goes that on the day Jesus was crucified there were three crosses on Calvary. He was on the middle one. The two on either side were known thieves.
The mystics explain by asking a question: What, on either side of The Christed Jesus, thieves from us? They answer: The Past, and the Future, whose emotional equivalents are Guilt and Worry. Ergo, my Guilt/Worry Continuum.
Consider the most important words ever uttered from a cross.
By common translation (which is an incorrect one, but that’s another blog post), they are:
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
So for the past month, I’ve found myself quoting these words after asking my patients: What’s missing when you’re caught in guilt or worry?
Forgiveness really isn’t for the person you’re forgiving, Beloved. It’s for you. You’re the one who is hurt hurting if you’re caught in guilt from the past or worry about the future.
How do you get off the left and the right crosses?
Do it as an act of will. Even if you aren’t feeling so willing.
I’d bet a quarter (my top bet) that Jesus was grinding his teeth a speck when he said those infamous words.
Don’t forgive too early. Do the emotional work required at least to get to neutrality before you forgive, if you can. But otherwise, do forgive. Forgiving is a function of the Christ Within each of us—we’ve all got it whether we call it that or not—and it’s totally worth what it takes to forgive because what it does is release you into Now, where you actually live.
It’s so much easier to live where you are, Beloved. Believe me, I tried to do it other places for years. Besides, to quote that indomitable theologian Dolly Parton, “Get off the cross, honey, somebody else needs the wood.”
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